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Refuse to Be Disrespected
You can’t force someone to respect you. Respect is something others give you. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks highly enough of you to grant you respect. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be treated respectfully. There’s no reason on earth for someone to treat you poorly. Those with self-respect refuse to be disrespected.
A refusal to be disrespected begins with a clear sense of the boundaries in the relationship. Boundaries tell us what words and actions are acceptable and unacceptable. Knowing how we insist on being treated allows us to call out an infraction, should one occur. Any time another person violates our sense of appropriateness, we can and should refuse to accept their treatment.
People who bristle at being disrespected have two options to confront the bad behavior. The first is to call it out and communicate clearly that a line has been crossed. This typically means asking the offending party to immediately change course and engage in more acceptable behavior. When others implicitly agree that they have behaved poorly, they will often apologize or offer to repair the damage done.
The other option is to disengage. We can remove ourselves from the situation by simply refusing to respond, thereby insisting that the conversation is over. Suggesting you won’t continue if the disrespectful behavior doesn’t end instantly is a variation on this theme. So is the tactic of walking away or asking for a break so the parties can reset.
Whenever we fail to confront or disengage when being treated disrespectfully, we now own the problem. In other words, once we accept being disrespected, it becomes a new rule and an extended boundary in the relationship. This is why it is important never to let a disrespectful transgression pass without confrontation or withdrawal. Once we allow others to get away with disrespectful behavior, it becomes exceedingly more difficult to call it out. In fact, it now becomes a standard in the relationship.
Don’t open the door to disrespect. Deal with it immediately anytime someone engages in an inappropriate manner. Call it out or disengage. Your self-respect depends on it.